It’s no hidden secret that bands of black and death metal rely on their vocals to convey another degree of intensity, bring us some brutal lyrics, or even add an additional level of atmosphere to the mix because why not. I enjoy that a lot but I’ve never really seen an act fall back on the vocals and really allow the instruments to do the wordless talking as they’re truly what keep an album moving, so why not give them all the spotlight? I got something close to that with the latest offering from Haiduk, and I didn’t know how intriguing it could be.
Granted, there are still vocals in this album and I think they’re stellar for a blackened death release, but Haiduk truly understands the concept of the instruments doing all the work as that’s what we get for what feels like the vast majority of “Exomancer”. It was the absolutely blistering speed of everything that kept me going throughout this 30+ minute long album with the classic-feeling heaviness that brings a special flavor to the mix that makes these ten tracks all the more enjoyable. I’ve never seen any act that would dare attempt the idea of instrumental blackened death (I’m sure there’s a few out there) and I felt that “Exomancer” was gonna be the first of its kind that I would hear, but Haiduk subverted my expectations that despite being quite sparse do not lack quality, thankfully. But come the end of “Exomancer”, it’s the instruments that deserve all the credit whereas the vocals were nothing to scoff at, but it’s the instruments that carry this record from beginning to end.
I’m not at all trying to bash on the vocalist at all as Haiduk is a one-man band, and I can easily say that “Exomancer” is a satisfying and well-rounded record that strips off some layers of “gloss” that blackened death can have to allow these ten tracks to have a much rawer feel to it and it works out splendidly here. Should you want a damn straight vicious listen that’s fast, unrelenting, and fiery beyond a doubt then you simply cannot go wrong with “Exomancer”.
LISTEN to “Exomancer” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Haiduk on Facebook here.